I'm sure by now you've noticed that casting the everyday into silver and making it some wearable form like jewelry is instant subversive luxe. From plastic vampire teeth for belt buckles and cocktail swords as necklaces, to forget me knot strings around the finger and peeled bark as cuffs... so part of me isn't at all surprised to see that someone has gone and cast zip ties in silver as rings. In fact, i can't help but wonder why it wasn't done sooner. Granted i'd probably have to turn down any man who dared propose we marry with a pair of these, the concept certainly has a lot of potential. Personally, i feel like zip ties are the new duct tape... from tying back cables, to tying plants to poles, looping through dishrags to have a loop to hang them from, tying bad guys up instead of handcuffs, locking your suitcases... (i'm sure you have more examples to insert here)... these rings are from Metalnat by Natalie Gomensoro at Supermarket.
Entries tagged with: technology
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Guitar + Vox + OhMiBod = Vibrator responding to the sounds of the guitar. Ever have those days where it you're holding two objects and it suddenly *clicks* that they're meant to be put together? Well a box of toys showed up from OhMiBod and the VOX AmPlug came on the same day, and it suddenly dawned on me that together they could be the perfect combo gift and only ~$100! [There's a quick video if below if you don't know what i mean.]
Ok ok, hear me out. The VOX AmPlug is perfect for electric guitarists who want to hear that beautiful full bodied sound through headphones. The OhMiBod and the more attractive and enticing new Gspot vibrate to the music connected through a headphone cable... Connect the two together ~ and its an interesting way to seriously touch someone through the music you PLAY.
We all know girls can't resist a musician (yes, yes, protest if you must, but we all know its pretty hard?) ~ this would take that love of musician and his music to a whole new level. Also, if he is the worst guitar player ever maybe this would be a nice gift for his poor girlfriend. And for all those groupies you can even plug in more than one... Come to think of it... this *could* work out nicely for those gamer guys too, hook it up to the output of your XBOX/PC/etc and every shot you take (or when you get shot) in a shooter game will have a whole new effect?
"Digital meets analog" is the tagline for 45 iPod Cases and it carries through even to their posters (which you can earn rebates on their cases by postering for them) ~ which are very cool illustrated posters! We've been seeing a lot of USB/Cassette Tape integrations this season, and records and record sleeves as purses, notebook covers, fruit bowls, ash trays, etc are inevitable at every crafty/recycled/found goods store these days... but i haven't seen the records cut and remolded for musical reasons before this! (and i do hope that the music on those records was digitized to go with the ipod before they folded and cut them up!) ~ also instead of adding the usb factor to the mix tape, its a cute idea to make it into a nano case... of course it'd be even more fun if i could somehow just stick that in my cassette player in my car? Fun designs, fun cases ~ see more images below!
UPDATE: Hey Kotaku people - these ARE 5 min doodles that got scanned and vectorized and printed just to see what the vinyl cutter could do... the wiimote was next to me, so just stuck them on there ~ (and our resident engineer made the tree) ~ this whole post is really just about a girl playing with her new toy.
Sorry i've been pretty quiet... big proposals, meetings, and i've been happily forced to take a little breather the last two days... and today i'm old. Quarter of a century old. It just doesn't feel right quite yet... but i must say, its far easier to deal with when i have the best present ever in front of me...
Funny thing is, the more i write about products and review and critique, the less i had on the wishlist this year... in fact i have actually been more obsessed with what to gift others! When some of the other bloggers hit me up for the "what's on YOUR wishlist?" i came up BLANK (sorry josh spear and design*sponge! I tried!). But Dan apparently managed to go beyond reading my mind, and found me the perfect gift ~ an industrial 24" vinyl cutter, with all the tools, a few rolls of vinyl stickering (enough to cover every wall i can find at the moment), and some transfer paper... it hooks up via usb, and illustrator just prints right to it... combine it with the magic of Live Trace and... WOW. This truly is the most fun i've had in a long time... we've been printing so many random illustrator files all night, and a few of the crazy experiments shown below (jeez this thing can print super thin lines!) - from some wiimote decorating, pirate brontos on the mac apple, and just crazy stickering... expect some more amusing projects/art installations/street art/event signage/stickers.... soon. But for now, i'm taking a little break! Gift guide update for the day coming later on after i get some shut eye!
PLEO! Just got dropped off by the FedEx girl ~ and i remember wondering when i first met Bob Christopher and Pleo for drinks at the Peninsula Hotel what the packaging/unboxing/hatching experience was going to be like. Well, here's the answer... lots of packaging and unboxing images below, and a few shots of him waking up to the world (much whining and moaning and slow eye opening as he went into exploration stages...) I even introduced him to my Roboraptor. First impression? Strangely adorable, definitely far more emotional than my now seemingly mentally handicapped roboraptor (who is currently running into the pleo box and pushing it around while pleo begs and purrs from petting)... and it is rather bizarre having this Littlefoot (come on, don't you remember Land Before Time... movies 1-infinity?) looking dino wandering the halls. Loving the DNA details in the box graphics... and the shot on the bottom of the box is brilliant... more to come on my adventures with pleo over the next 2 weeks probably...
Oh, and looking back compared to the prototype pics ~ he sure has gotten more color in his skin! And its so bizarrely skin/rubbery like to the touch...
Ooooooh. Ok, to be honest, when i first say the Griffin Evolve Speaker images i thought it had floating speakers... they are in fact ~ "wireless rechargable digital speakers", and it's also you're all in one ipod dock ~ with audio out channels, video out, s-video, etc... And you can even add more speakers - they have a cute little Multicast flash piece that shows you various members pairing their speakers then taking them to various rooms! They say "So have your friends bring their Evolve speakers next time they come over"... but doesn't that seem a bit silly? I mean we're already supposed to be carrying our wiimotes around, but our speakers too?
Gift Guide Day 22! our sponsor is Balmuda ~ we showed you their X-Base laptop stand a while back, and since then they have launched their new Highrise desk lamp that is worth taking a look at for those on your gift list that live at their monitor(s)... an ultra bright led lamp, with this interesting details i have yet to try myself - "The color emitted by Highwire matches the color of a computer display therefore, the display is not distorted. The light coming from Highwire does not include infrared rays and so emits less heat." Also check out some of their sweet cable organizing pieces available in japan in the guide... and as with all of them, click the products to find out more!
Gift Guide Day 23 is more Mimobots than i've ever tried putting on one page, and it was far too fun to make this sponsored day! (Especially with the new second series of Star Wars Mimobots that just launched yesterday!)... Anyhow take a look at the new guide... my Ramona still hangs out below my monitor, and honestly these little guys are one of my fun stocking stuffer backup gifts - not just toys - not just usb keys - but filled with digital goodies that correspond to your character of choice.
Latest gadget to make it across my desk (and on my many road trips this last week) ~ the Happy Ear Flamingo. Ok get over the name, and moving along... while i've tried my share of bluetooth ear pieces, i was intrigued by this one because they decided to try something new with the way it actually stays in place... instead of inserting something directly into your ear canal, this one has two nubs that hook into the space above and below (look at the diagrams below to make more sense of it), and testing it on road trips from la-sd-sf its been working great. On silly features that won me over, the charging base is magnetic, so it just snaps right into where it needs to be to charge. Also sound quality has been great, and it really doesn't get tangled in your hair, etc ~ it was quite comfortable having that straight part hang straight against my face, i guess making it look like a flamingo with one leg up next to my head? Anyhow, the blister packaging didn't do much for me, but the comfort, stability, and sound quality of the headset impressed me.
Woohoo! We're at Gift Guide Day 24 (gotta motivate myself, 31 feels like a lot of days) - and today i'm excited to share my picks from our sponsor Audiocubes, who you've seen a bit in our tags the last few months ~ they've been very kind in supporting what we do! And they are our go to store for audio goods and crazy japanese gadgetry (in fact we were shopping there before they even approached us!). And just to get you started on all the goodies in today's gift guide, for anyone who hasn't seen how this freaky Facebank works... check out the video below!
Remember the Keyport? Well the kit for the limited edition just showed up today - basically make copies of keys you want in the device, put them on the ring, stick the stickers on then, give a description, pop them back in the padded envelope, and fedex it away! The "I use this key for" section makes me pretty nervous (as if sending keys doesn't already - even valet parking makes me nervous... we all watch our share of spy/con flicks, it's so easy to get in where you want to... between lock picks and social hacking... especially if people will send you the keys AND a description of which are for what?)... i wonder if all they are really asking is what type of car if its a car key... the rest should be self explanatory to a locksmith right? But i am super curious about what the final product will look like... Well, at least they aren't asking for pictures of the corresponding locks and lock locations with video proving the keys work... Anyhow, thought you'd be interested to see the next step of the Keyport, Happy almost turkey day.
Freshly back in LA, and slightly scared to wear my Tom Fords... as i told you earlier, i just spent two nights up in Half Moon Bay with the Oakley crew at their golf tournament, where i got to check out the Rolling O Lab. Now, i already showed you the *fun* side of the O Lab, here's the fascinating rolling research lab in a trailer... it will really bring out the hands on science geek in anyone. I tried to get pics of all the fun bits to share with you... but here's the cliff notes version before we get into the show and tell: if something blasts you in the face, most glasses will stab you in the eye - Oakley lenses just scratch slightly... if you lay down and drop a nearly 2 pound pointed weight on your glasses, you will have something sharp sticking out of your eye - Oakley lenses just get a dent... if you point lasers through the lenses to emulate your vision, the Oakleys actually meet at a point as they should - the others (and we put our random glasses on) were all over the place meaning your eyes are overcompensating (so THAT's why some glasses give you headaches quickly)... ok ok there's more, and it was all rather fascinating to me, so please don't mind the ranting... see pics below - of inside the lab, and also the GIANT corona bottle that was at the first hole.
Uki International has some playfully modern hair styling tools ~ most noteworthy is this tiny "go on" 500 watt hair dryer that is a mere 9cm in length! and weighs in at only 110 grams. (see different angles of how adorable it is below) Also interesting is their Ionic 6000 that has apparently the "max ergonomics, allowed by double handle possibility" and is a powerful 1800/2000 watts and 21 cms in length. I also couldn't resist sharing this technical coloration trolley, Moana, designed by Massimo Pizzoleo ~ which although it looks quite like a frog it is ready to go with two tinting brushes and a tin foil roll (see how it opens below).
Latest in toothbrush technology? Ultrasound. No, seriously... the Ultreo uses sonic vibrations plus ultrasound. And as much as initially i thought this might just be another crazy gimmick and I initially wanted to check it out b/c the packaging was interesting, and the new technology intriguing... I didn't expect to actually be hooked on my teeth feeling this noticeably clean relative to the sonicare elite (i haven't had a chance to compare this to that new sonicare flexcare, but its the same technology really, only less vibrations coming through and smaller?). Founded by Dr. Pierre Mourad (who has made his living finding novel applications for ultrasound and its ability to transform bubbles into miniature sources of mechanical energy) and Jack Gallagher (Ultreo's CEO/President who was present of Phillips Oral Healthcare for a few years) and they brought on Dr. Christopher McInnes (Ultreo's Principal Scientist who spent 12 years with Sonicare, and provided the fundamental science behind the Sonicare technology)... they have quite a team behind the Ultreo, which has just launched its first ultrasound toothbrush . Other than the incredible clean feeling (yes, i am running my tongue over my teeth in amazement still) ~ it's impressive that it's far less aggressive/harsh on your mouth, less vibrations, quieter and i was told the ultrasound technology creates tiny bubbles that blast away the plaque (see the comparison study images, more below)... and how does it work? It's all about that orange transducer in the middle of the brush head. Really its hard to explain, and definitely worth trying to understand/feel for yourself.... images below of box scans, close ups of the charger, travel case, etc.
Nabzatag ~ the crazy wifi bunnies we've been seeing for a while... apparently in the goodies section of their site they are anti-naked bunnies! Anyhow, a little random, but cute that they have pdfs for everything from paper clothes (i guess you could make them with cloth too) to stickers to decorate them (from eyebrows to mustaches to logo shirts ~ give them some character!).
I just got back from the most amazing event that i have a pile of posts to share with you...BUT, i just checked my email and Billy Chasen blew my mind... literally... with his "hey guys, i love your site. one of my daily stops. I just created an exploded ipod -- it's encased in resin and still works. tell me what you think :) -billy" email. Well... Billy? I think the proper response is - where can i buy one? Or at least play with one? Does it work with remote control?
It is quite possibly my favorite new view of the overexposed ever evolving design *classic*(?)... the ipod has become the kleenex of the mp3 players... its refreshing to see it so exposed - and encased in resin! See below for more images and read more on Billy's site.
Oakley's line of wearable tech has evolved once again... and its certainly improving! If you recall, i reviewed their O ROKR and Thump 2 almost exactly a year ago, and i was pleasantly surprised when a white boxed beta of the Split Thump showed up today. They've really cleaned up the design quite a bit, and it is now possible to be far more 007 like with these... removable t-rex arm ear buds (with an adorable little classic oakley pouch for them, even with a divider in the middle to keep them from destroying each other) and the external buttons have been incorporated into the logo (which has been enlarged and aesthetically looks far better on the glasses)... and they are sounding better as well. Bottom line? These glasses can actually look like normal sporty sunglasses when you aren't listening to music, giving you the flexibility the others lacked. Anyhow, take a look below for the unboxing, close ups, and a some photo comparisons between the Thump 2 and the and the Split Thump.
Oh, and if any of you are thinking ~ but wait some of the big tech blogs hated it... i just reread all those posts, and they have been following their predecessors who all hated the concept to start with - and its so sad that some of those sounded like whiny poor techy ipod lovers who probably aren't huge fans of outdoor sports. But anyhow, i might be in a ranty mood... these are definitely making my potential gift list... although it says "coming soon", i've heard that these will definitely be shipping in time for xmas.
Remember those days when our site would flicker up and down or get super slow? Somewhere between our overloads of traffic, unstable servers, and some pretty shoddy tech support? It even got bad to the point that i ended up posting to see if anyone had any better solutions... to be completely honest it feels like years ago (post was dated April 07)... but thanks to the advice, horror stories, and hosts that everyone submitted ~ we decided to go with WiredTree which Jonah shared with us.
So, as promised, now that we've found a new host, and tried them out for a few months, and i've actually been sleeping better (it's nice not having the 4am sms "OMG your sites are down! Again.")
The first things that come to mind ~ incredible uptime that its only beat by their great customer service. I have never had service where we have a problem regardless of size (server crash, out of HD space, or just a silly email question) answered in about 5 minutes when it is 2am (which would be 4am for them in Chicago)... and even if they did just wake up, they manage to respond with friendly, professional, intelligent, patient, efficient responses. From a technical perspective, it is refreshing that they give you full access to your box, yet guarantee complete management: software + hardware + network, and they deliver on it, which is no easy feat considering what some of us may try to do with our servers (other than NOTCOT.com being on movable type all the other sites are built by us from scratch).
Anyhow, if you're still looking for a host ~ check out what WiredTree has to offer, the pricing and server options were extremely competitive when we shopped around, even before realizing how smart the team supporting it is. And feel free to mention you found them through NOTCOT!
For those who noticed i've been really slow on posts and editing the other sites today, i guess i've kind of found myself with the one problem that i can "call in sick" about... my right fingers have been doing crazy cramping up, and my hand has been killing me a bit. I guess those 10+ years of not so ergo laptop-in-bed-and-on-lap are catching up to me as i near 25. Figures that it is right now that i decide to have all these ideas for redesigns i'm dying to sit and code... Anyhow, whining aside, this carpal tunnel scare convinced me to finally look a little more closely at the ergonomic options out there and i just ran out and grabbed this crazy split Gold Touch keyboard by KeyOvation that Dan recommended... and i'm considering forcing my mouse usage lefty and trying one of their crazy Evoluent vertical mice as well (not to mention trying to work at a desk properly).
Anyhow, i just wanted to tell you all to BE CAREFUL! And i was also wondering if you'd had any experience, advice, ideas on the subject... and why oh why are these things all so ugly?!?!?! One of these days we will have to get some designers and engineers together and help clean some of these designs up. Oh, and i might be a little extra quiet/slow for the next few days with this physically induced "break"... sorry.
My blackberry pearl just had a hardware failure last night. The volume increase button is broken... and i lasted a few hours before i had to go into the store and have it dealt with (don't even talk to me about calling in... ugh. i tried.)... so a replacement is on its way... in a few DAYS. While further phone hunting (naturally in my frustration i turn to distracting myself with new options) ~ i discovered that you get a free personal ISLAND with the Blackberry 8830 over at Sprint.
Ok ok, so after you delve into all the small print, its just a crazy over exaggerated campaign microsite (privateislandoffer.com) ~ that reminds me quite a bit of the Nokia ones (Remember Great Pockets that was on .org?). So it turns out if you want to buy the $10.5 million phone with free island, you are actually paying the $199.99 and then $10,500,000.00 for the "exotic island with amenities" according to the fake checkout... since as soon as i tried to buy it ~ it pops up "Are you sure you're a billionaire? There is no way we would sell a commodity as precious as an island on a site that just anyone could access. If you are in fact a billionaire and you're still interested in purchasing an island, our broker would be happy to help you find one..."
Anyhow, the intro clip is cute ~ and their spammy sounding domain is amusing... privateislandoffer.com. Screenshots below as well.
Wow. The Keyport sure is growing up quickly. Remember the Keyport renders i showed you back in April? Well time flies, and now you're looking at actual images of real Limited Edition Keyports (granted they reserve the right to make some slight mods in the next week or so)... For those that need a refresher ~ the Keyport Slide is the "world's first universal keyfob"... basically they are saying that you can have all your keys in one... from your house, car, office, locks, and even RFIDs. This first set is Limited Edition, and only 5000 will be made worldwide - available in silver, black, pink, and blue. It goes on sale early next week exclusively from the ‘reserve list.’ They will be sending out 1000 emails per hour to everyone in the world that has reserved the product on key-port.com since April.
So how is this all going to work? After ordering, you receive a Kit which includes a box for 6 keys. You send the 6 keys you want in the unit in the FedEx envelope provided and they do the rest. Scared? Well they have apparently worked out a "guaranteed secure delivery method with FedEx" so your keys and address are never on/in the same package. You can even opt to pick up the final order at your local FedEx depot to further ensure your security.
Ready to get up close and personal with the Vers 2x wood ipod speaker system i wrote about earlier? Well they sent a sample over, and i had the pleasure of playing with it, and as a product i'm smitten with their attention to details... things you don't see in their product shots? The gorgeous circular designs on the speaker cover ~ the way they run their wires under the unit ~ just how beautiful it really is to have a nice woody speaker amongst all the plastic and metal tech that surrounds us... It's currently on sale at places like Target and Amazon for $179. Anyhow take a look below for a slew of close ups.
Working Class Heroes ~ this Viennese duo, Monie & James ~ have me giddy over their gorgeously functional grey felt and brown leather combinations... from laptop wallets to passport cases, moleskine pouches to glasses cases. I mentioned these in a roundup where i had mentioned finding these on .org and ordering two laptop wallets! Well they arrived in LA while i've been in SF the last few weeks... and they were the first thing i headed for when i got home. First impression? Beautiful presentation, all hand tied with red/white ribbon, and the products are even nicer in person than online ~ and they were even nice enough to add one of their keyholders as well.
I purchased their Girls Only Laptop Wallet as well as the Laptop Wallet Tidy ~ and actually i ordered two simply because i couldn't decide if i wanted it to horizontal or vertical, and at such a reasonable 49$ pricetag ~ no reason not to get both for use in various bags. The three things about these that impress me most are... 1. no zippers! (i'm extremely particular about avoiding zippers in my laptop cases, because i had some macbooks get very sliced up on the sides from quick ins and outs... and also no velcro! so its silent) 2. the simplicity of the styles using a nice heavy "3mm grey german felt" combined with adorable graphic branding imprinted leather accents ~ as well nice cotton herringbone reinforcements 3. the genius of having laptop sleeves where you can easily PUSH the laptop out. Honestly, i've gone through MANY laptops, laptop sleeves, and laptop bags ~ and its been a long time since i've gotten excited about one... but these have surpassed my expectations in both form and function.
MANY pictures below, both from their site of their line, as well as some quick snapshots of mine when i just got home. Having these to play with may actually get me off my laptop a bit more since i need to close it to slip it into the laptop wallets!